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Current Affairs Today – April 11 2017

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Current Affairs April 11 2017


Lok Sabha passes 123rd Constitution Amendment Bill 2017
On April 10, 2017, Lok Sabha passed 123rd Constitution Amendment Bill, 2017 with 360 members voting in favour and two members voting against it. This amendment bill seeks to grant constitutional status to   National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.
i. The amendment bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Thaawarchand Gehlot on April 5, 2017.
ii. The amendment bill seeks to insert Article 338B in the Indian Constitution. This article will list out the structure and functions of the proposed National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.

Survey General Of India completes 250 Years
The Survey General of India completes 250 years on 10th April, 2017. The center launched a website which allows the public access to 3000 maps which are prepared by Survey General of India completes 250 years.jpgSurvey General of India. It also made a subscription to Aadhaar mandatory for the service.
i. A Nakshe Portal was launched by the Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan on the occasion of 250th anniversary of Survey of India in New Delhi
ii. Topographic Maps or Open Series Maps (OSM) is prepared by Survey of India since 1767 and is in conformity with the National Map Policy-2005.

Motor Vehicle amendment bill passed by Lok Sabha
On April 10, 2017, Lok Sabha passed The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016 by voice vote. This bill amends the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
i. This amendment bill was first introduced in Lok Sabha in August 2016 which proposed 89 clauses for amendment.
ii. It was referred to Parliament Standing Committee on Transport, headed by Mukul Roy, which accepted 57 out of 89 clauses for amendment. On March 31, 2017, the Union Cabinet approved changes in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016 as per the suggestions of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

Parliament passes Constitution (SC) Order (Amendment) Bill 2017
After passed by Rajyasabha The Parliament has passed the Constitution (Schedule Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill 2017. It was already passed by LokSabha in March 2017.
Key Points:
i. The Bill seeks to amends the constitution (Schedule Castes) order, 1950 and the constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964.
ii. The Bill seeks to modify the list of SCs for the state of Odisha.
iii. The castes Sualgiri ,Swalgiri will be introduced to the Sabakhia caste in the list of the SCs for the state of Odisha.
iv. The name of the Union territory of Pondicherry was modified to Puducherry by the central act in 2006.

Government sets up inter-ministerial panel to monitor UDAN
The Government has set up an inter-ministerial committee to monitor the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN which seeks to make flying affordable by connecting unserved and under-served airports.
i. The Civil Aviation ministry has already awarded 128 routes connecting 70 airports to 5 airlines including Spicejet and an Air India subsidiary under the scheme UDAN
* UDAN- Ude DeshKa Aam Nagrik
ii. The Inter-Ministerial Monitoring-cum-coordination Committee would be responsible for Regional Connectivity Schemeoverall monitoring of the schemes.
iii. The panel would be responsible for coordination among the stakeholders including state government.
iv. In the flights operated under RCS (Regional air Connectivity) around 50% of the seats would have afire cap Rs2500 per seat/hour.
v. The cap on fares would be revived periodically based on Consumer Price Index for Industrial workers under RCS.
vi. The panel members include Airport Authority of India chairman, Representatives from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation , Bureau of Civil aviation security
vii. Other benefits include zero airport charges for the operators and three years restricted on the routes.

Centre releases nearly 23500 Crore to States under MGNREGS
Ministry of Rural development has released nearly 23,500 crore rupees to the States under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)
Points to Remember:
i. The GOI emphasized solely on Water Conservation and Water Management works under MGNREGS.
ii. All the states have been advised to ensure that such works are taken up wherever required with appropriate technical and scientific channel.
iii. A list of 2264 water-stressed Blocks prepared by Ministry of Water resources.These blocks are located in 324 districts of 21 states.
iv. The ministry has suggested the states to ensure not less than 65% expenditure on Natural Resource Management Activities.
v. Rural development has requested them to give top most priority to Water Conservation works under MGNREGS.
vi. It is to be ensured in drought regions and in districts, blocks where inadequate rainfall is there.

Government reduces number of centrally sponsored schemes to 28
The Government has reduced the number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) from 66 to 28 and effective from the financial year 2016-2017.
Key Facts:
i. The GOI has rationalized Centrally Sponsored Schemes based on the recommendation of the sub group of chief ministers.
ii. The minister has mentioned that 6 Schemes have been categorized as Core of the Core 20 Schemes as Core Schemes and remaining 2 as Optional Schemes.
iii. The related Schemes could be merged and implemented as “Umbrella Schemes”to administer the satisfactory component in the line with state specific requirements.
Centrally Sponsored Schemes:
♦ Centrally Sponsored Schemes are implemented by state governments of India but are funded by Central government with a defined State government share.
♦ Examples of these schemes are: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.


G-7 Foreign Ministers meeting held in Lucca, Italy
On April 10, 2017, Foreign Ministers from the Group of Seven (G-7) countries gathered for the annual meeting in Lucca, Italy.
i. United States and its allies (including G-7 countries) believed that Syrian Govt. headed by Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons to attack a rebel-controlled town last week in which 87 civilians were killed. Reacting to this, US fired multiple missiles at Syrain Govt.’s airbase.
ii. G-7 countries have insisted that Russia should stop giving support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Imposing further sanctions on Russia is also being considered as an option.

Pakistan sentences Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav to death
A Pakistani army court awarded death sentence to Indian national Kulbhushan Jhadav who was arrested last year on charges of spying.
Key Points:
i. Jhadav was arrested in March last year in Balochistan accused of being a Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) agent.
ii. He was supplying the Baloch separatist movement and attempt to damage the $46 billion China Pakistan economic corridor(CPEC)
iii. Chief of army staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed his death sentence given by FCGM.
iv. He confessed in front of court and magistrate that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organize destruction activities that aims to weaken the wage war against Pakistan by hinder the efforts of law enforcement agencies.
v. Pakistan army has also released a confessional video of Jhadav in which he is saying he was servig the Indian navy.
vi. Foreign Secretary S Jainshankar mentioned if Jhadav will be awarded capital punishment India will consider it is case of Premeditated murder.

First rail freight service to China departs UK
The first rail freight service from U K to China has departed on a journey of 7500 mile from Essex. Thirty containers will carry British goods which include whiskey, soft drinks, vitamins pharmaceuticals and baby products.
Key Facts:
i. The service is a part of China’s One Belt, One Road programme of reviving the ancient First rail freight service to China departs UKSilk Road.
ii. “DP World London Gateway, one of the UK’ largest logistics hub.
iii. It is used to ensure import and export products from the UK via ship or train to make fast safer and more reliable.
iv. It travel over 7500 miles to reach Yiwu(China)a framed wholesale market town in the eastern province of Zhejiang in 17 days.
v. The train will pass through the seven countries which include France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan.
vi. The rail transporter between UK and China is cheaper than by air and faster than by sea.
Points to Remember:
♦ UK capital- London                                ♦ China currency- Renminbi
♦ UK currency- Pound Sterling                  ♦ China capital-Beijing
♦ UK PM- Theresa May                             ♦ China President-Xi Jinping


ESAF Small Finance Bank launches social deposit scheme Hrudaya deposit
ESAF Small Finance Bank has launched a social deposit scheme called Hrudaya Deposit.
Important Highligths:
i. The deposit scheme is related with social cause through which ESAF bank provides the customers an opportunity to be a part in social welfare projects.
ii. In this scheme whosoever customer deposit in it will become a part in national building.
iii. Their deposits are used for the welfare and infrastructure developments of the underdeveloped sections of the society.
iv. An individual or a legal entity can join the Hrudaya deposit scheme with a minimum deposit amount of Rs 15 lakh and for a minimum period of 2 years.
v. The customer will also get an opportunity to gain first-hand experience of how their money is used to improve the lives of the ordinary people in the country.
vi. The Hrudaya deposit scheme includes the development of the rural farmers, fisherman, vegetable, vendors etc.
About ESAF Bank:
Evangelical Social Action Forum known as ESAF Microfinance is a non-banking finance company licensed by RBI.
♦ HQ- Thrissur Kerala
♦  Founded-1992
♦  ESAF Small finance Bank MD and CEO – K Paul Thomas

Align Bank Pay to that CPSESs : Bank Board Bureau
The Bank Board Bureau has recommended that government bring reforms in the compensation process in Public Sector Banks similar to Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).
Major Highlights:  
i. BBB set up in Aril 2016 to select board members including MD & CEO in PSBs put out the list that was submitted to the government on its website.Banks cuts lending rates, home, corporate loans to be cheaper
ii. To attract high quality talent for non-executive directors and chairman, BBB suggested a platform with the private sector in relation to role, responsibility and remenuration.
About BBB:
BBB is an autonomous body of eminent professionals and officials PSBs. Its function is to give recommendations to the government for appointment of full time directors as well as non-executive chairman of PSBs.
♦ Passes advice to PSBs in developing strategies for raising funds through innovative financial methods and deal with the stressed assets.
♦ It has three ex-officio members and three expert members, in addition to the chairman.
♦ Vinod Rai appointed as the first chairman of BBB.


Colson Whitehead wins Pulitzer prize for The Underground Railroad
The prestigious Pulitzer Prizes for achievements in journalism, literature and musical composition were announced on April 10, 2017. This is the 101st edition of Pulitzer Prizes.
i. A speculative history novel “The Underground Railroad” written by Colson Whitehead has won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.
ii. The Novel was published in August 2016 and became an instant bestseller. It won the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction (US) in November 2016. It got a lot of positive

National Hindi Sevi Samman Awards announced
Professors from Japan, USA to be honoured for promoting Hindi.26 writers including 2 Japanese and American Professors Hindi Sevi Samman by President Pranab Mukherjee for their efforts to promote the language .
i. Fujii Takeshi (Japan)and Gabriela Nik IIieva(USA)will be presented George Grearson award in the foreign Hindi writers category.
ii. In the NRI category Pushpitaavasthi (Netherland) and Padmesh Gupta (London) will be presented the award.
iii. Writers from non-Hindi speaking states who have been chosen for the award are S Shesharatnam (Vishakhapatnam) M Govind Rajan (Chennai) Harmahendra Singh Bedi( Amristar) and H Subadani Devi (Imphal)
iv. Rahul Dev and Baldev Bhaisharma will be presented the Ganesh Shankar Vidhyrthi for their contribution to Hindi journalism.


Flipkart Buys eBay India Business, Gets $500 Million as Investment
Flipkart announced its biggest funding and it is buying eBay’s Indian operations and marked drastic moves by the country’s largest online retailer. It builds a ‘mahagathbandhan’ of global tech giants to counter Amazon.
Major Highlights:
i. India’s largest e-commerce company buys eBay’s India business and closing $1.4 billion fund raising from Tencent, eBay and Microsoft.
ii. $1.4 billion deal is led by China’s Tencent with an investment of $700 million while eBay Inc will contribute $500 million and also receive Flipkart stock worth of $200 million.
iii. The eBay merchants outside of India can sell to Flipkart shoppers and flipkart Sellers can
more easily sell to eBay shoppers outside of India.
iv. EBay mentioned it is investing $500 million and selling its India business in exchange for a stake in Flipkart.
v. It is the largest fund rising in the Indian internet sector and values Flipkart at $11.6 billion.
Flipkart Buys eBay India Business, Gets $500 Million as Investmentvi. Flipkart will own and operate the as an independent business upon the close of the transcation.It will maximize the opportunity for both companies in India.
About Flipkart:
♦ Flipkart is an electronic commerce company.
♦ Founded in 2007
♦ HQ- Banglore ,Karnataka India
♦ Founder(s)- Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal


Marouane Fellaini becomes the first muslim player to captain Manchester United
Marouane Fellaini becomes the first Muslim to captain Manchester United. He is the world’s most expensive player.
Points to Remember:
i. MarouaneFellaini is a Belgian professional football player who plays as a midfielder for Premier League Club Manchester United and the Belgium national team.
ii. He played his first international match between Belgium and Czech Republic in 2007.
iii. Fellani is a practicing Muslim of Moroccan heritage.
iv. He is the first muslim captain of the Red Devils Squad.